Care of fish

WormWiggler

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In what seems like the distant past, I caught enough fish to freeze some. I used the in water in a milk carton method and was very dissatisfied with the results, mushy fish that were a pain to get thawed without a long wait.

SO I don't recall how I found it, but I read an article that stated. "only the outside of a fish should be in water". now right away I was all WTF. but basically the guy said fish meat is separated from water in the lake by the their skin and should be kept this way. He advised to filet them like normal. Rinse quickly for clean up. Pat dry. Cool down over a bed of ice. Vacuum seal individually.

I found a tupperwear of my wife's that had like grill in it for the ice down. Since I is too poor fro an Obama vacuum sealer I used saran wrap and forced all the air out. Now I debone and cut a filet into about 4 pieces (8 per fish), so I use a lot of saran wrap. But then I put them all in a big freezer bag. I am pleased with the results and like that I can count out how much fish I am thawing out.

So is this the weirdest fish handling technique anyone is using?:;:smokin
 


MuskyManiac

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I always soak in a little salt water for 10 minutes, pat dry, and then put in the freezer on wax paper for a bit just to firm it up. That way when I vacuum seal, I can get all the air out without water being pulled out of the fillet which can cause trouble with a proper seal.
 

DirtyMike

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I might have to start doing the "pre-freeze" trick, MM. I end up having to clean fish water out of the sealer just so I don't end up with a stinky mess.
 

Up Y'oars

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Rather than using a milk carton, Wiggler, I just use plastic baggies. They freeze just as well and get 99% of the oxygen away from the meat. The thawing process in only a couple of hours. I pat down with paper towels as soon as the ice can break away from the carcass.

Baggies are also much easier to store in the freezer (stand them up and oldest in the front).
 

Colonel Angus

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I use the gallon size ziplocs with enough water to get all the air out. They are only about an 1.5 to 2 inches thick so they thaw out pretty fast and stack in the freezer nicely.
 


remm

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Filet, wash, keep out what you want to eat fresh, dry remaining with paper towel, place filets in vacuum bag laid out just like you would in a frying pan, suck, seal and freeze.

Doesn't take long to thaw out, hard to tell that they were ever frozen in the first place. Seems to work for me.
 

SDMF

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I give away frozen fish. Fresh or bust.
 

squirrel92

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I like to get all of the water out of the fillets and freeze them in quart size freezer bags. Enough for a meal for two people or a meal for me and lunch the next day. I date and label them and stack them on end like books once they freeze by species: oldest first.
 

guywhofishes

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I might have to start doing the "pre-freeze" trick, MM. I end up having to clean fish water out of the sealer just so I don't end up with a stinky mess.

This makes me feel bad for all the poor souls who don't own a chamber vacuum sealer like I do. ;:;rofl

That said - I make both my de-ribbing cut and my pin bone cut while the filet is still attached to the skin. The LAST step is de-skinning, so the filet never touches the slimy cutting board.

The filets get quickly rinsed and drip-dried for a few seconds, then into a bowl. The less water to make the flesh turn "white" the better IMO.

I chill the entire bowl overnight typically - then vacuum seal the next day in whatever size batches I feel are handy for gifts, fires, tacos, etc.

I bag with this bad boy. I can bag water if I so choose... and in fact I come close to doing just that when I bag excess broth, soup, etc.
VacMaster-1.jpg


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I give away frozen fish. Fresh or bust.

Hmmm... It would be fun to do a blind taste test of your sophisticated palette some day.
 


Enslow

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I always soak in a little salt water for 10 minutes, pat dry, and then put in the freezer on wax paper for a bit just to firm it up. That way when I vacuum seal, I can get all the air out without water being pulled out of the fillet which can cause trouble with a proper seal.

This is the best way to seal fish.
 

wildeyes

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Most of the time I will use quart bags with 4 fillets also use vac sealer. When I use the vac sealer I pad off the extra water on the fillet but I also take half a sheet of paper towel next to the the fillets to absorp the extra water the vac pulls up to the sealer. works well for everything you vac no mess in the vac sealer.
 

WormWiggler

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Does everyone do the "zipper" thing where you make to cuts by the tail end of the filet and pull the center bony section from each portion?

I do, and then filet the rib cage away. I had a friend spend several hours in the ER because of a bone in the airway and it was not a good time.
 

MuskyManiac

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Does everyone do the "zipper" thing where you make to cuts by the tail end of the filet and pull the center bony section from each portion?

I do, and then filet the rib cage away. I had a friend spend several hours in the ER because of a bone in the airway and it was not a good time.

I've zippered them before, and you can definitely see the difference in the color of that little strip, but to be honest I've never tasted any difference between zippered and unzippered fish. Plus I like to pan fry my walleye in whole fillets.

- - - Updated - - -

This makes me feel bad for all the poor souls who don't own a chamber vacuum sealer like I do. ;:;rofl

That said - I make both my de-ribbing cut and my pin bone cut while the filet is still attached to the skin. The LAST step is de-skinning, so the filet never touches the slimy cutting board.

The filets get quickly rinsed and drip-dried for a few seconds, then into a bowl. The less water to make the flesh turn "white" the better IMO.

I chill the entire bowl overnight typically - then vacuum seal the next day in whatever size batches I feel are handy for gifts, fires, tacos, etc.

I bag with this bad boy. I can bag water if I so choose... and in fact I come close to doing just that when I bag excess broth, soup, etc.
VacMaster-1.jpg


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Hmmm... It would be fun to do a blind taste test of your sophisticated palette some day.

I would love to own a chamber sealer. They are spendy, though.
 

guywhofishes

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If you bag a lot look into how insanely cheap the chamber bags are vs. the non-chamber.

I think I am half way to paying off the chamber - seriously.
 


Enslow

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I have started making my own seal bags from a roll and placing whole fillets sideways in the bag after zippering and trimming off red meat. It is so much faster to with the wider bag and i cut them about 8 inches in length. They seal very quickly this way also.
 

guywhofishes

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I have started making my own seal bags from a roll and placing whole fillets sideways in the bag after zippering and trimming off red meat. It is so much faster to with the wider bag and i cut them about 8 inches in length. They seal very quickly this way also.

Yep. Thumbs Up

What irks the heck out of me is that if you check the prices of the rolls vs. the bags... you often can get the same "total length" in the bags cheaper per/ft than the same width rolls. Grrr..
 

Enslow

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The cost of vacuum seal bags is a giant conspiracy.
 

Lycanthrope

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I put a few fillets in a vacuum bag, fold a half paper towel in half and put that at the top of the bag, so its between the fish and where the seal is made, vacuum it and the towel will absorb the juice, without allowing it to mess up the seal, or be sucked into the machine, works great, also as the fish thaws, the paper towel will help absorb the extra juices so its not so messy when you open the package.

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The cost of vacuum seal bags is a giant conspiracy.

Maybe a good "group buy" opportunity? I ordered bags by the case and probably have enough to last the rest of my life, I think I ended up paying about .15c each for decent bags, just the right size for a lb or two of fish.
 


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